Tulowitzki praises Crawford's development

Tulowitzki praises Crawford's development

SAN FRANCISCO -- Winning the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards and making the All-Star team all in one season for the first time made Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford distinct last year. But it didn't quite make him unique.

Troy Tulowitzki was the National League's most preeminent multidimensional shortstop for close to a decade until the Colorado Rockies traded him to Toronto last year. Crawford, said Tulowitzki, has the potential to define the position just as he did.

"How old is he?" Tulowitzki asked before Tuesday's Giants-Blue Jays rematch. Told that Crawford's 29, Tulowitzki said, "He's early in his prime. You have to enjoy it while you can. It goes fast. He's one of the best already. You just have to keep doing what you're doing."

As a fellow Bay Area native, Tulowitzki said he followed Crawford's career since he rose from UCLA to the Giants.

"He's made a lot of adjustments and become a really good shortstop, both defensively and offensively," said Tulowitzki, a five-time All-Star who has won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. "He's as solid as it gets. The Giants are lucky to have him."

Crawford's tough stop

Asked which of Crawford's traits distinguishes him the most, Tulowitzki said, "Defensively, I think it's hard to find shortstops who are as fundamentally sound as he is, making all the routine plays, just doing the right thing. That's what stands out to me."

In this era, more and more shortstops possess highly developed offensive skills as well as defensive assets. That doesn't mean mastering both phases is easy.

"It takes time," said Tulowitzki, 31. "You have to put in the work. I think in Brandon's case, you've seen that he's gotten better defensively some years. Last year, I think he made a step offensively. It took some time for him, but now he's one of the best. He's definitely moving in the right direction."

• Giants manager Bruce Bochy said left fielder Angel Pagan "had a good day" in his continuing recovery from a strained left hamstring as he performed various running and agility exercises. This added legitimacy to the estimate of Pagan returning to the lineup during this weekend's series at Arizona. Pagan has been out of the lineup for nine games in a row.

• Right-hander Sergio Romo (right elbow flexor tendon) played catch at a 105-foot distance and will throw off a bullpen mound Wednesday, increasing his workload from the 20 pitches he threw in his first stint.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.